Reds' Chapman finds strike zone in spring debut

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman threw 23 pitches over two perfect innings in spring debut. Nineteen of the them were strikes. That's a very good sign.
"I feel I could locate the pitches where I want," he said. "The results ... you saw what happened. The results were good. I was really happy."
Chapman threw mostly sliders and split-finger fastballs He topped out at 94 mph. He threw as slow as 76.
"This is a spring training game," he said. "What you do in a spring training game is that. I was working on the kind of pitches that I don't control. I was working on the pitches I don't use too much -- the breaking pitches."
Chapman, who turned 25 Thursday, was not letting loose with his fastball.
"I was just throwing," he said. "I didn't want to put too much into it or put nothing on it. I was just trying to do my job."
Chapman is moving from closer to starter. He needs at least three pitches to do that. Two of them will be the fastball and slider.
"With these guys are going out for two innings at a time, it's hard to establish four pitches," pitching coach Bryan Price said. "We really wanted to focus on fastball, slider. He did throw a couple of splits. We're still trying to define that third pitch. With his arsenal, I don't think he needs more than three pitches."
Again, location was the key.
"That was nice," Price said. "He was able to repeat pitches. He threw three different pitches for strikes -- the fastball, slider and split. He was pretty sharp for this early in camp."